Griff’s Great New Zealand Adventure 3 December 2021: Friday on ITV

Episode 3 – Griff opens the episode on the ferry crossing from the North to the South isles – often a treacherous trip, but today the waters are glassy smooth. The old sea captain challenges Griff to attempt to understand the “Number 8 Wire” mentality of the south – a ‘can do’ attitude where anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

Griff heads to the old whaling station on Queen Charlotte sound – remarkably still operating until the 1970s. Griff gets onto the water to explore the bays by kayak and hopefully meet a whale – but alas only the seals accompany him – though on the way into Picton his ferry is joined by a rare dolphin.

The animal encounters set the tone for the rest of the journey through some of the most stunning and spectacular scenery on the planet. At the Kahurangi National Park, Griff immerses himself in the native forest, including giant mountain beeches. Griff heads to the sky to head further into the wilderness to visit the Old Ghost Road – an extraordinary bike track cut into the mountainsides along Ghost Lake. It’s one of the greatest natural walks in the world. Griff joins Cory – a kea trapper – a rare mountain parrot. Using lures and calls, Cory and Griff try to catch a kea to give it a health check – but the colourful birds are having nothing of it.

At Reefton, Griff hunts for the Number 8 Wire mentality – but discovers the actual wire is hard to find! Griff meets a set of twins who have lived and working the unforgiving outdoors in the area for 70 years. They McKay twins are tough as nails … foraging in the woods or just cruising the streets in an old Ford.

Griff grabs a train trip across Arthur’s Pass to discover a wilderness that stretches for hundreds of miles – awe-inspiring country renascent of a primeval world. Finally, Griff discovers the embodiment of the Number 8 Wire mentality. Bill Hamilton was an iconic New Zealander who invented practical things – including a jet. Now passed, Bill’s legacy lives on with jet boat being sold around the world as a vehicle to glide over shallow rocky waterways.

Griff ends his Number 8 Wire quest on a working sheep farm. This salt of the earth family make do even to this day – on open country, feeding sheep, watching the snow on the peaks, and enjoying life. And there, on a hill, Griff finds a stash of Number 8 Wire.

About Griff’s Great New Zealand Adventure

British comedian Griff Rhys Jones is on an epic journey from the tip to the toe of New Zealand but has set himself a challenge to avoid Highway One and journey the Kiwi roads less travelled.

This show is broadcast on ITV.

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